Sunday, March 31, 2013

21st Century Goodyear Airships Being Built

The Spirit of Goodyear has a distinctive yellow stripe under the logo.
(Image Source: )

Goodyear slowly pieces together its airship future


By Akron Beacon Journal

Saturday, March 30, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

SUFFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio — It resembled a giant erector set, and the men working on it looked as happy as kids with a new toy at Christmas. 

But this was serious business, as the men at Goodyear's Wingfoot Lake hangar were literally building Goodyear's airship future: the first of three larger, faster airships that will replace the company's iconic blimp fleet. 

“We are just at the dawn” of a new airship era, Nancy Ray, Goodyear's director of global airship operations, said recently at the hangar.

The partnership between Goodyear and the German ZLT Zeppelin is a return to the roots of Goodyear's airship program. ZLT Zeppelin, which dates to 1995, is a reconstituted version of the German Zeppelin company that Goodyear worked with decades ago to bring rigid airship technology to America. 

That history has been hidden in plain sight for decades — the GZ in the current fleet of GZ-20A blimps stands for “Goodyear Zeppelin.” 

Goodyear has built and operated more than 300 lighter-than-air vehicles since 1917, including two large rigid airships, the USS Macon and the USS Akron, built for the Navy in the 1930s.

Sources: Akron Beacon Journal, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

More on the Goodyear Blimp: Link >>>

More on Airships in general: Link >>>

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Mystery of Hindenburg Air Catastrophe Solved (2013 March 6):

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